For someone who’s hesitant to cloth diaper, an all-in-one (AI1), may be the best place to start. All-in-one diapers are the most like disposables, because they go on as one piece and come off as one. No stuffing required. They fasten on the baby with either snaps or a velcro-like closure.
The outer part of an AI1 is always made with a waterproof or water-resistant material, usually PUL or TPU. Sometimes the waterproof layer may be “hidden,” with a cotton or other fabric layer on top for decoration.
The inside of the AI1 varies, depending on the brand. Some are made with organic cotton or bamboo. Others, like the Thirsties AI1 below, have microfiber inside topped with a stay-dry material to lie against baby’s skin.
All-in-one cloth diapers work well for care-giver situations, babysitters, nurseries, or day cares, since they’re so simple to use.
Another positive of an AI1 diaper is they’re often trimmer than other styles.
There are some negatives. They tend to take a longer time to dry than a pocket diaper, since the soaker part is actually sewn into the diaper and cannot be removed for dry time.
Some diaper brands like Thirsties make their AI1s with soakers that are only attached in one or two areas. This allows the soaker to “pop out” for faster drying time.
There are other possible negatives besides the long dry time. All-in-one diapers tend to be the most expensive cloth diaper option. They also tend to be more difficult to customize absorbency, since there is usually no pocket to stuff. One must add doublers between the baby’s skin and the diaper in order to add more absorbency.
Easy to use
Most like a disposable
Long drying time
Not as customizable
Have you tried AI1s? What did you like/dislike about them?
A few weeks ago, I noticed a few small spots on the inside fabric of one of our Bumkins AI1 diapers. I thought the stains looked weird, but set the diaper outside in the sun…like I do with any stained diapers. Well, for the first time, the sun did nothing.
Fast forward to last week.
I noticed the spots seemed to be spreading, and they appeared on the hemp side of a GroVia AI2 insert.
Click on Photos to Enlarge
That’s when I realized I had a mildew problem (At least, I think that’s what it is). I searched the Internet for causes of mildew on cloth diapers, and from what I can tell, the most likely reason for us is that I’m not getting these particular diapers and inserts dry enough. The Bumkins AI1 is made with a bamboo blend, which can take a while to dry. The hemp inserts also take extra time to dry. At this point, I’m assuming that although I’ve thought this particular diaper and insert was dry…it still has wet spots somewhere inside the absorbent layers.
This began my quest to eliminate the mildew and the spots.
Before doing much research, I reached for the bleach. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have reached for that first. When it comes to cloth diapers, there are often other methods that are equally or more effective, and certainly safer than chlorine bleach is on your lungs and diaper fabric.
I soaked the diaper and two inserts (it happened on a second GroVia hemp insert) in a full washer tank of water and a capful of bleach for an hour. Stains were still there.
I went back to the Web. Thirsties has a page dedicated to techniques and procedures to remove mildew from cloth diapers. Based on what I read there and elsewhere on the net, I decided to try tea tree oil, baking soda, lemon juice, salt, and the sun.
With the diaper and inserts soaking in cold water from the beginning of a washing machine rinse cycle, I added teaspoons of tea tree oil and a 1/4 cup of baking soda. I dropped the washer lid for a few seconds to let the water agitate and stir the oil and baking soda around. Then I stopped the cycle, and let the diaper and inserts soak for an hour, before letting the rinse cycle finish.
After the cycle finished, I made a paste with 2 parts salt, 1 part lemon juice, and rubbed it into the spots. After letting them sit for half an hour, I washed them with a regular diaper load.
When I finished my regular diaper wash, I pulled the stained inserts and diaper out, sprayed the spots with a mixture of water and lemon juice, and left them laying in direct sunshine for several hours.
Did it work? Nope. At least, the stains are still there. I’m certain the mildew is dead after the bleach, tea tree oil, etc.
The next day, I sprayed the spots with lemon juice and water again, and placed in the sun. Still no improvement. The spots look faded when the diaper and inserts are dry, but as soon as they are wet, the spots show up brightly again.
So that’s my experience with mildew. You can kill it, but the spots are permanent.
Have you had a different experience? Did you get the mildew stains out? Any suggestions for me? Should I try something else or give up on the stains?
Before I get into this review, I need to give you some context:
My son is almost four months old, and has had one diaper rash. Fortunately, it was a very small area of skin and went away after a few days of applying Desitin regularly. He was still in disposable diapers at the time. I’ve come across plenty of message boards and other sites on the Web where cloth diapering mammas insist their kids get fewer (or no) diaper rashes with cloth diapers than with disposables. However, some research says there really isn’t any difference, and then other research says babies get more rashes with cloth diapers. Either way, most babies will get a diaper rash at some point.
We’re using cloth diapers exclusively now. I’m going to be honest (and vague), by saying that I probably leave my son’s diaper on him too long at night. Now, I know that I’m not alone here. Some parents may be able to perform a middle-of-the-night-change without waking their wee one, but I’m not so lucky. The last time I tried, he was awake for the following two hours.
I use fitted diapers overnight: Kiwi Pie, Bamboozle, or Blueberries. They all are a bamboo mix, and so far have not leaked. Since fitted diapers are not waterproof, I use a Flip cover or Bummis Super Snap Wrap over top.
By morning, the fitted diaper is usually soaked, so I made myself some fleece-topped doublers for my son to wear between the fitted diaper and his skin. The microfiber draws moisture away from his skin, and the fleece over top makes it safe to touch his skin without over drying.
But, he was still getting a little red around the uhm…little man areas…by morning. So what to do?! Well, I still had a tube of Desitin, so I started putting that on in the mornings. Since Desitin is not considered safe to use with cloth diapers, I put a flushable liner in between his bum and the diaper. Well, then something weird happened. Twice, I did this, and he pooped. It seems like his runny EBF (exclusively breastfed) poop soaked through the flushable liner and caused the Desitin to stain a small area of his diaper reddish. Now, I don’t know for a fact that’s what happened, but it happened to two of his diapers, and I had put liners on both of them and put Desitin on him, and he had pooped. That’s the only correlation I could figure out.
This left me with a dilemma. I could use a fleece liner over top his diaper instead, but the Desitin was just treating his problem, anyway, not preventing it, and I really wanted to use something more natural on my baby’s skin. I started searching for other options.
And I found my solution! I bought a GroVia Magic Stick All Natural Diaper Ointment from Diaper Junction. This ointment is cloth diaper safe, but of course you can still use it with disposables.
Since it’s made of all-natural ingredients, you can use it as a rash protectant after every diaper change and every night before bed!
After using it on my son regularly for about 24 hours, his redness is gone, and he woke up this morning with absolutely no red on his man parts! Score Magic Stick! Can you tell I’m excited about this? By the way, I just lightly applied it to get these results. There’s no need to cake it on, so I expect this tube will last for many months.
Because it’s a stick, it’s hands-free (of course, Hubby says, You still have to hold the stick with your hands to apply…how is that hands free?). Regardless, Dear Hubby, I have no messy hands after diaper changes.
Since it’s a stick and goes directly on baby’s bum, if you have more than one kid in diapers, you’ll have to buy additional sticks to be sanitary. Each stick comes with a cool blank spot on the label (see photo above) where you can write your baby’s name to keep track.
Diaper Junction still has their free shipping deal going on, for orders $19 or more (U.S. only), until Sept. 3, 2012. If you’re not interested in using cloth diapers, they have plenty of other natural baby (and mommy) products available.
Do you use a diaper ointment regularly? What do you use? How do you like it?
Note: Post contains affiliate links. I was not compensated for this review. I purchased the item reviewed above. Opinions expressed are my own and may differ from those of others.